Sweden is known as one of the most liberal European countries. Democratic laws also apply to the field of gambling. Most types of gambling are legal in the country both in land-based establishments and on specialized Internet resources.
According to the Swedish Ministry of Health, most adults have tried gambling at least once in their lives. On average, the industry earns over 40 billion kroons annually. There are 4 land-based casinos in Sweden, and slot machines can be found almost everywhere.
Swedish gambling legislation
The legalization of gambling in Sweden took place relatively recently: in 1999. Before that, only lotteries had legal status in the country. At the moment there is no single normative act regulating all gambling in the country. Currently, work is underway to create a law that would affect all areas of gambling in accordance with modern realities and the requirements of the European Union. Lotteries are described in the 1994 law, casino games in 1999 and slot machines in 1995.
The following land-based casinos operate in the country:
- Casino Cosmopol Gothenburg;
- Casino Cosmopol Malmo;
- Casino Cosmopol Stockholm;
- Casino Cosmopol Sundsvall.
In addition, players can play at the Baltic Princess Cruise Ship floating casino. According to Swedish law, slot machines can be located outside the casino. They are installed in public places: supermarkets, at some public transport stops, etc. In accordance with the restrictions prescribed in the 1995 law, slot machines cannot be placed in the immediate vicinity of educational institutions. Swedish law prohibits minors from gambling.
Regulators and licenses
The country has a state monopoly on gambling. Thus, the only licensed operator is Svenska Spel. It is a state-owned company that organizes bingo, poker and lotteries, and its subsidiary Casino Cosmopol AB owns all land-based establishments.
In connection with the operation of the state monopoly, there is no question of the conditions for obtaining a license. Private companies are not allowed to engage in gambling business. The regulator in this area is the Swedish National Association for Gambling (Spelbranschens Riksorganisation). Initially, it was an organization that dealt with the ethical issues of gambling, but later its powers were expanded.
Online gambling in Sweden
As a member of the European Union, Sweden cannot prevent the distribution of goods or services permitted in the EU. Gamblers have no restrictions on playing on foreign sites. The latter, in turn, constitute serious competition for Swedish resources. Official sites of casinos in Sweden have very serious requirements for players. For example, a user must determine the amount he is willing to spend on games during the week. After this limit expires, access to the casino is blocked.
The most popular gambling resource in the country, however, remains the site of the state operator Svenska Spel. In second place is the international betting service bet365. The ranking of the 3 most popular online casinos in Sweden looks like this:
- Maria Casino;
- Vera John.
The Swedes are most popular with bingo, lotteries, sports betting (football in particular) and horse racing.
Popular slot machines
According to statistics, slot machines in Sweden are popular mainly with older gamblers. According to Maria Casino, the following slots are the most popular among the Swedes:
- Dead or Alive;
- Mega Fortune Dreams;
- Reel Steal;
- Jungle Spirit;
- Wild Turkey.
Swedish gambling software developers
When it comes to Swedish development companies, the first name that comes to mind is of course NetEnt. The world-renowned development team began its activities in 1996 and is now one of the most popular in Europe and beyond. The manufacturer’s portfolio includes over a hundred games. The company is distinguished by a non-standard approach to the choice of subjects. Slots from NetEnt are recognizable and original. Almost every one of them has a themed bonus game. The developer’s most popular games include the following:
- Blood Suckers;
- Crime Scene;
- Dead or Alive;
- Guns N ‘Roses;
The company is currently operating under a Malta license. Its offices are located in many countries of the world, including Canada, Ukraine and others. The manufacturer is one of the world’s leading providers of online casino platforms. The company owns such developments as the NetEnt Live Casino module for playing with live dealers, the NetEnt Touch software package for mobile gadgets, and much more. NetEnt has won several prestigious gambling awards and became the main sports betting operator in the UK in 2016.
Prospects for the development of gambling business in Sweden
Under pressure from the EU, Sweden is actively working to eliminate the state monopoly in gambling. It is expected that in the coming years, foreign operators will be able to license themselves on Swedish territory. In addition, the local operator is expected to be reorganized. Due to the fact that many players prefer foreign resources, it is planned to make local services more competitive. In particular, the Swedish monopoly Svenska Spel plans to pay more attention to the development of the sports betting sector, since at the moment fans of this type of gambling prefer exclusively foreign resources.
Sweden has come a long way to finally legalize gambling. The current legislative framework is imperfect in some aspects. Nevertheless, comfortable and safe conditions in the field of gambling entertainment are created for the players.